John Kenneth Galbraith

John Kenneth Galbraith

John Kenneth "Ken" Galbraith, OC (properly /ɡælˈbreɪθ/ gal-BRAYTH, but commonly /ˈɡælbreɪθ/ GAL-brayth; 15 October 1908 – 29 April 2006), was a Canadian-American economist. He was a Keynesian, an institutionalist, and a leading proponent of 20th-century American liberalism. His books on economic topics were bestsellers from the 1950s through the 2000s and he filled the role of public intellectual from the 1950s to the 1970s on matters of economics.

Galbraith was a prolific author who produced four dozen books and over a thousand articles on various subjects. Among his most famous works was a popular trilogy on economics, American Capitalism (1952), The Affluent Society (1958), and The New Industrial State (1967). He taught at Harvard University for many years. Galbraith was active in Democratic Party politics, serving in the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson; he served as United States Ambassador to India under Kennedy. Due to his prodigious literary output he was arguably the best known economist in the world during his lifetime and was one of a select few people to be awarded the Medal of Freedom, in 1946, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2000, for services to economics. The government of France made him a Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur.

Read more about John Kenneth GalbraithPostwar, Works, Honors

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    Total physical and mental inertia are highly agreeable, much more so than we allow ourselves to imagine. A beach not only permits such inertia but enforces it, thus neatly eliminating all problems of guilt. It is now the only place in our overly active world that does.
    —John Kenneth Galbraith (b. 1908)

    There are few ironclad rules of diplomacy but to one there is no exception. When an official reports that talks were useful, it can safely be concluded that nothing was accomplished.
    —John Kenneth Galbraith (b. 1908)

    The person who designed a robot that could act and think as well as your four-year-old would deserve a Nobel Prize. But there is no public recognition for bringing up several truly human beings.
    —C. John Sommerville (20th century)

    There’s a certain part of the contented majority who love anybody who is worth a billion dollars.
    —John Kenneth Galbraith (b. 1908)